FAU Broward Campuses - Student Spotlight

Shanett Dean

Sunday, Jan 01, 2023
Shanett Dean

Education | Doctoral Program

Doctoral student Shanett Dean specializes in Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University. Her approach to instruction comes from a background in English Literature, Art, and Pedagogy. She was born and raised in Deerfield Beach, Florida, where she currently lives and enjoys spending her time.

Shanett has an impressive educational background, first attaining her bachelor’s degree in English literature with a minor in Africana studies from the University of Central Florida. She then earned a master’s degree in Africana Pedagogy from New York University and recently completed her second master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Florida Atlantic University. Shanett’s goal is to support all students in reaching unrealized goals by removing any barriers to their success. Over the span of her career, she would like to support and increase the capacity of educational professionals, so that together they can ensure that all students have the tools & unfettered imaginations that will fully engage them in an ever-evolving global landscape. Shanett has attained her teacher’s and Florida Educator’s certifications and is a part of the Sister Circle, Holmes Scholars Fellowship, Provost Fellowship, and the graduate student’s association (College of Education). She was also awarded the Broward Education Foundation Teacher Grant in 2017.

Shanett chose Florida Atlantic University to do her Ph.D. at the recommendation of a fellow Ph.D. student from the FAU program who came to the high school where Shanett works to complete her dissertation. This student spoke highly of the program and the professors, which motivated Shanett to pursue the degree. After Shanett graduates, she plans to become a principal while working as a professor, teaching college students school-based curriculum and leadership. She would like to have "one foot in high school and the other in academia as a scholar to teach college students about what takes place in high schools." Shanett appreciates the opportunities and connections the university has provided her and enjoys when learning intersects with pop culture the most. "Being in the reality of the challenges faced in inner-city schools and and motivating these students by opening their eyes to the opportunities they can have. I want to disrupt the limiting train of thought and use the resources available to make it possible for students to pursue what they want to do," Shanett said.

She currently works in a high school doing instructional support, which motivates and keeps her focused while in school. She wants to use her degrees as a tool to make a change. Shanett’s favorite class thus far was her "Critical Theory in Education" class taught by the late Dr. Hoang Tran. "Dr. Tran had the most profound impact, and his class was revolutionary for me," she said.

When Shanett is not studying or working, you may find her outside reading, on the swing, in a hammock, or doing outside work such as building a fire pit, gardening, or foraging. She has unique art-related hobbies such as making earrings, crocheting, knitting, and site-specific installations at various galleries. She has even traveled to Ghana for educational service as a consultant doing grant writing and curriculum development and met the famous Van Hunt.

Shanett would describe herself as inquisitive, reflective, and comical, living by the three words "together we can." It is her strong sense of community that often inspires her to complete work when she is undermotivated. In this she finds the inspiration to seek opportunities outside of her comfort zone and to stay on track and take risks to better herself and her career. Shanett advises students in her field to "time block a part of your weekly schedule exclusively to reflect on what you want to do and focus on the readings and scholars that will help you get there." In addition, she highly advises students to do personal and professional development by evaluating what they are doing now to reach their goal and what they could do to attain it. She also urges students to seek mentorship and connections in the field and further their education by pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree to receive additional benefits.

If you are interested in learning more about Shanett’s journey and work, you can visit her Website or contact her via e-mail at sdean13@fau.edu.